Monday, July 17, 2017

Cripple Creek Ore Bank

I've gotten to where I don't even write about riding at Pinelog any more. Not much interesting has happened up there for a while. I did manage to get in a great many miles, and improve my fitness a bit, but for a while that's about all I could really say.

A few weeks back, it started raining every single day, and I picked up a new client in Canton, so I ended up off of the bike for a while. Actually, I brought my bike with me a few times, hoping to ride after work, only to get rained on. And, on a few different days, I began driving up, only to drive directly into massive storms, each time. Terrible!

You know how if you ride enough, you can crush the pedals for 6 hours, and then when your fitness falls off, and you try to get back on it, you can't imagine crushing the pedals up even 1 hill? That's how it was last weekend when I tried to get up there and reclaim some fitness.

I did do one interesting thing though.

I'd long ridden past the Cripple Creek Ore Bank, but I'd never gone down to check it out. It seemed like a good opportunity that day though, so I did that.

The bank appears to have once once been a little knob, but when it was discovered to be iron-rich, the knob was reduced and even inverted to a 20 or 30-foot deep pit. Indications of its former height ring the pit, and it's pretty amazing to think about as you walk down into it.

An overgrown old road lead down to the floor of the bank, along the north side.

In winter, the pit fills with water to a depth of a few feet, but in the summer, it's covered in grass.

Cripple Creek Ore Bank - Floor

Old cuts can be very clearly seen on the west and north sides.

Cripple Creek Ore Bank - West Side Cripple Creek Ore Bank - North Side

But, in the summer, the photos don't come out so good.

Large blocks of ore lie at the bottom of the pit.

Cripple Creek Ore Bank - Blocks of Ore

There are some weird sticks poking up out of it too.

Cripple Creek Ore Bank - Weird Sticks

I couldn't tell looking at time if they were dead trees or if someone had stuck them there. I pushed on one of them and it didn't seem too solid, but I still couldn't tell.

At the lowest point, there was still a little bit of water, even in this heat.

Cripple Creek Ore Bank - Pond in Summer

And that was about it. I was, once again, confronted with the difficulty of taking decent photos of holes in the ground, in the summer. Winter is much better for that, I guess.

On the ride out, I passed the vast meadow that used to be a lake.

Kinsey Meadow - Planted

Apparently it's planted in the summer. I didn't recognize the crop though.

Man, I was tired, pulling out of the north end. Whooo!

Normally I try to crush it all the way back around on the road, but there was no crushing it that day. I actually stopped at the Rydal Store, drank one bottle of Gatorade and filled up one of my bottles with another one. I then drank almost all of it on the way back to the car.

I guess it was just hot too. It didn't seem so at the time, but later I saw that it had hit 98 that day, and I didn't feel SO bad about having such a rough time.

Still, not good, but at least not SO bad.

Also... I'd run into a guy named Curtis Glass in the lot on the way in. He had a bike on his rack and was waiting for a friend. We chatted a bit, and he really seemed to know the area. I realized as I rode that I had more questions for him, and I hoped to run into him when I got back. As luck would have it, I did! He and his buddy were still in the lot, and I got to talking with both of them for like an hour. They gave me some good info about the system, surrounding properties, and even about some trials in the national forest. They were both general outdoor adventurers, much like myself, not afraid to venture off trail, or push through a little brush. They were both paddlers too, and the Curtis had long been a climber. So, actually, they were quite a bit more accomplished adventurers than I. It was great talking to them, and I gave the buddy the URL for my trails site, which has my email on it, so maybe I'll hear from them again.

So, it was a tough day, but ended well, all things considered. It was even worth writing about.

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